Transcript of "Hr & the changing demands of the workforce"
cornell HR review CHANGING DEMANDS: THE WORKFORCE OF YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW Matthew Burr & Adriane McGrawHuman resource departments have been chartered with the responsibility of protectingthe intangible assets of their companies. It is the knowledge and skills of the workers thatestablish the true strategic advantage in any firm. In order to retain intangible assets ofhuman capital, HR managers must respond to both the employee’s personal andprofessional needs. Since the mid-1900s workers have been faced with the challenge ofwork/life balance. Most HR departments have responded to this demand by creatingflexible staffing schedules when the position’s tasks allowed. The goal of this paper is topresent the ways HR has served as a strategic partner in retaining employees throughtransitional periods of their lives while increasing productivity and innovation across theentire organization. This is seen through the implementation of flexible policies and howthese policies can be expanded to further meet current business needs.Today, HR departments are faced with the retirement of Baby Boomers, the mindset ofMillennials, and the economic pressures to reduce costs. After analyzing research done inthe field of HR and current business trends, we believe the next strategic step for HR isthe implementation of internal contingent workforce pools to ease the generationaltransition from Baby Boomers to Millennials.I. IntroductionOur research highlights the emergence of work and family balance issues throughout theUnited States beginning in the 1960s and the importance of the work/life balance intoday’s workplace. We have examined four areas: the history of work and familybalance, the changing requirements of the current and future employees, new challengescompanies are facing, and programs companies have implemented to deal with thesechallenges. Technological innovation has provided a more informed and efficient way todo business, but these changes have also produced a new generation of remote workers.Like technology, companies also have to be creative when designing policies andprocedures for this work style. We chose to research flexible work schedules, remoteworkforces, and contingency workers because of the growing need for companies toimplement these practices. Aligning flexible staffing policies to employees canimmensely affect the strategic objectives of the organization.II. HistoryStarting in the 1960s the emergence of two-income earning households presented theneed for a change from the traditional 9-5 workplace to a more flexible work schedule